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To the Editor.—
The article "Serum IgE in Dermatitis and Dermatosis: An Analysis of 497 Cases" by O'Loughlin et al (Archives 113:309-315, 1977) contains a paragraph on contact dermatitis and patch tests that I fear may set back the art and science of patch testing.One reads, "All patients were tested with a standard test tray as recommended by the International Contact Dermatitis Committee." The fact is that in many instances, the Mayo Clinic's (MC) "standard tray" differs considerably from that proposed by the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group (ICDRG), which is available from either TROLAB, 1 Hoyrups Alle, DK 2900 Hellerup, Denmark, or Hollister-Stier Laboratories, Box 3145 Terminal Annex, Spokane, WA 94577.Let us examine some of these differences:
Dichromate.—Mayo Clinic tests with a 1% aqueous solution, which is often an irritant concentration. The ICDRG recommends 0.5% dichromate in petrolatum.
Benzocaine.—Mayo Clinic uses "1% alcohol benzocaine." Can
Fisher AA. Standard Tray in Contact Dermatitis. Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(12):1733. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640120101039